Search results for: tantric-traditions-in-transmission-and-translation

Tantric Traditions in Transmission and Translation

Author : Ryan Richard Overbey
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Tantric traditions in both Buddhism and Hinduism are thriving throughout Asia and in Asian diasporic communities around the world, yet they have been largely ignored by Western scholars until now. This collection of original essays fills this gap by examining the ways in which Tantric Buddhist traditions have changed over time and distance as they have spread across cultural boundaries in Asia. The book is divided into three sections dedicated to South Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The essays cover such topics as the changing ideal of masculinity in Buddhist literature, the controversy triggered by the transmission of the Indian Buddhist deity Heruka to Tibet in the 10th century, and the evolution of a Chinese Buddhist Tantric tradition in the form of the True Buddha School. The book as a whole addresses complex and contested categories in the field of religious studies, including the concept of syncretism and the various ways that the change and transformation of religious traditions can be described and articulated. The authors, leading scholars in Tantric studies, draw on a wide array of methodologies from the fields of history, anthropology, art history, and sociology. Tantric Traditions in Transmission and Translation is groundbreaking in its attempt to look past religious, linguistic, and cultural boundaries.

Language in the Buddhist Tantra of Japan

Author : Richard K. Payne
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Language in the Buddhist Tantra of Japan dismantles the preconception that Buddhism is a religion of mystical silence, arguing that language is in fact central to the Buddhist tradition. By examining the use of 'extraordinary language'-evocations calling on the power of the Buddha-in Japanese Buddhist Tantra, Richard K. Payne shows that such language was not simply cultural baggage carried by Buddhist practitioners from South to East Asia. Rather, such language was a key element in the propagation of new forms of belief and practice. In contrast to Western approaches to the philosophy of language, which are grounded in viewing language as a form of communication, this book argues that it is the Indian and East Asian philosophies of language that shed light on the use of language in meditative and ritual practices in Japan. It also illuminates why language was conceived as an effective means of progress on the path from delusion to awakening.

The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra Books 1 to 10

Author : Choying Tobden Dorje
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In 1838, Choying Tobden Dorje, a Buddhist yogi-scholar of eastern Tibet, completed a multivolume masterwork that traces the entire path of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from beginning to end. Written by a lay practitioner for laypeople, it was intended to be accessible, informative, inspirational, and above all, practical. Its twenty-five books, or topical divisions, offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the Buddhist path according to the early translation school of Tibetan Buddhism, spanning the vast range of Buddhist teachings from the initial steps to the highest esoteric teachings of great perfection. Choying Tobden Dorje’s magnum opus appears in English here for the first time. In Foundations of the Buddhist Path, which covers the first ten of the treatise’s twenty-five books, the author surveys the scope of the entire work and then begins with the topics that set the cornerstones for all subsequent Buddhist practice: what constitutes proper spiritual apprenticeship, how to receive the teachings, how to make the best use of this life, and how to motivate ourselves to generate effort on the spiritual path. He then describes refuge and the vows that define the path of individual liberation before turning to the bodhisattva’s way—buddha nature, how to uplift the mind to supreme awakening, the bodhisattva’s training, and the attainments of the paths leading to supreme awakening.

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Translating Translations Translators

Author : Enrica Garzilli
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The Japan Foundation Newsletter

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Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism

Author : Christian K. Wedemeyer
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Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism fundamentally rethinks the nature of the transgressive theories and practices of the Buddhist Tantric traditions, challenging the notion that the Tantras were "marginal" or primitive and situating them instead—both ideologically and institutionally—within larger trends in mainstream Buddhist and Indian culture. Critically surveying prior scholarship, Wedemeyer exposes the fallacies of attributing Tantric transgression to either the passions of lusty monks, primitive tribal rites, or slavish imitation of Saiva traditions. Through comparative analysis of modern historical narratives—that depict Tantrism as a degenerate form of Buddhism, a primal religious undercurrent, or medieval ritualism—he likewise demonstrates these to be stock patterns in the European historical imagination. Through close analysis of primary sources, Wedemeyer reveals the lived world of Tantric Buddhism as largely continuous with the Indian religious mainstream and deploys contemporary methods of semiotic and structural analysis to make sense of its seemingly repellent and immoral injunctions. Innovative, semiological readings of the influential Guhyasamaja Tantra underscore the text's overriding concern with purity, pollution, and transcendent insight—issues shared by all Indic religions—and a large-scale, quantitative study of Tantric literature shows its radical antinomianism to be a highly managed ritual observance restricted to a sacerdotal elite. These insights into Tantric scripture and ritual clarify the continuities between South Asian Tantrism and broader currents in Indian religion, illustrating how thoroughly these "radical" communities were integrated into the intellectual, institutional, and social structures of South Asian Buddhism.

Tantra in Practice

Author : David Gordon White
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Tantra in Practice is the eight volume of Princeton Readings in Religions and the first substantial anthology of Tantric works ever to appear in English. The thirty-nine contributors, drawn from around the world, are leading scholars of Tantra. Each contributor has provided a translation of a key work, in most cases translated here for the first time. Each chapter in the volume begins with an introduction in which the translator discusses the history and influence of the work, identifying points of particular difficulty or interest. David White has provided a general introduction to the volume that serves as an ideal guide to the riches contained between the covers of this book. He has organized the volume thematically, providing fascinating juxtapositions of works from different regions, periods, and traditions. Two additional tables of contents are provided, organizing the works by tradition and by country of origin. The range of works represented here is remarkable, spanning the continent of Asia and the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam over more than a millennium. With the publication this volume, the long disparaged and neglected Tantric traditions of Asia receive the attention they so rightly deserve. This is a groundbreaking work.

The Tantric Tradition of the Nyingmapa

Author : Thondup (Tulku.)
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The Maha Vairocana Abhisambodhi Tantra

Author : Stephen Hodge
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The first complete translation into English of this Tibetan text, together with the informative commentary by the 8th century master Buddhaguhya. This text is of seminal importance for the history of Buddhist Tantra, especially as very little has been published concerning the origins of Tantra in India.

The Tantric Ritual of Japan

Author : Richard Karl Payne
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This is the first book to describe in details the fire rites of Japanese Tantrism,called in Japanese goma,from Sanskrit homa.The Shingon goma is a living contemporary ritual whose origins go back to Vedic India and to Indo-European antiquity.

A Literary Transmission of the Traditions of Thang stong RGyal po

Author : Janet Gyatso
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The Yogini s Eye

Author : Wayne Verrill
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The Yogini’s Eye: Comprehensive Introduction to Buddhist Tantra, Volume I: Systemization and Interpretation introduces a new translation series, Classics of the Early Sakya, which will focus on the extensive literature of the Sakya Lamdre lineage of the Hevajra Tantra cycle of revelation. This first volume of introduction is the earliest book of its type and comprehensive treatment of the subject matter to have been written, and initiated the scholarly study of Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. Subsequent studies in all lineages were built on the foundation established by this book. The Yogini’s Eye has served as the introductory textbook for the study of Sakya Tantra continuously for over 800 years. Over the centuries, the textbook has been supplemented by a total of fifteen commentaries and study guides written by the most learned scholars of the Sakya tradition, including Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen (1312–1375), Yeshe Gyaltsen (1300’s–1406), Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382–1450), Lowo Khenchen Sonam Lhundrup (1456–1532), Ngorchen Konchok Lhundrup (1497–1547), Amezhap Ngawang Kunga Sonam (1597–1659), and Dezhung Chopel Jamyang Kunga Namgyal (1880’s– mid-1950’s). This first English edition contains the translation of thirteen of these study guides, excluding all repetitive sections, inserted into the original book in the appropriate context.

Sources of Tibetan Tradition

Author : Kurtis R. Schaeffer
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The most comprehensive collection of Tibetan works in a Western language, this volume illuminates the complex historical, intellectual, and social development of Tibetan civilization from its earliest beginnings to the modern period. Including more than 180 representative writings, Sources of Tibetan Tradition spans Tibet's vast geography and long history, presenting for the first time a diversity of works by religious and political leaders; scholastic philosophers and contemplative hermits; monks and nuns; poets and artists; and aristocrats and commoners. The selected readings reflect the profound role of Buddhist sources in shaping Tibetan culture while illustrating other major areas of knowledge. Thematically varied, they address history and historiography; political and social theory; law; medicine; divination; rhetoric; aesthetic theory; narrative; travel and geography; folksong; and philosophical and religious learning, all in relation to the unique trajectories of Tibetan civil and scholarly discourse. The editors begin each chapter with a survey of broader social and cultural contexts and introduce each translated text with a concise explanation. Concluding with writings that extend into the early twentieth century, this volume offers an expansive encounter with Tibet's exceptional intellectual heritage.

Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness

Author : Dr Louise Child
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This book explores the role of altered states of consciousness in the communication of social and emotional energies, both on a societal level and between individual persons. Drawing from an original reading of Durkheimian social theorists (including Mauss, Hertz, and Hubert) and Jungian psychology, Louise Child applies this analysis to tantric Buddhist ritual and biographical material. She suggests ways in which dreams and visionary experiences (including those related to the 'subtle body') play an important and previously under-explored role in tantric understandings of the consort relationship.

Tibetan Renaissance

Author : Ronald M. Davidson
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How did a society on the edge of collapse and dominated by wandering bands of armed men give way to a vibrant Buddhist culture, led by yogins and scholars? Ronald M. Davidson explores how the translation and spread of esoteric Buddhist texts dramatically shaped Tibetan society and led to its rise as the center of Buddhist culture throughout Asia, replacing India as the perceived source of religious ideology and tradition. During the Tibetan Renaissance (950-1200 C.E.), monks and yogins translated an enormous number of Indian Buddhist texts. They employed the evolving literature and practices of esoteric Buddhism as the basis to reconstruct Tibetan religious, cultural, and political institutions. Many translators achieved the de facto status of feudal lords and while not always loyal to their Buddhist vows, these figures helped solidify political power in the hands of religious authorities and began a process that led to the Dalai Lama's theocracy. Davidson's vivid portraits of the monks, priests, popular preachers, yogins, and aristocratic clans who changed Tibetan society and culture further enhance his perspectives on the tensions and transformations that characterized medieval Tibet.

Crossing the Threshold

Author : Dominique-Sila Kahn
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Who is Hindu, who is Muslim? The answer, according to Dominique-Sila Khan, is not as simple as generally assumed. By analyzing documentary sources as well as original field data, she examines the shaping of religious identities in South Asia, particularly in North India. The author argues that the perception of Islam and Hinduism as two monolithic and perpetually antagonistic faiths coexisting uneasily in South Asia has become so deeply ingrained that the complexity of the historical fabric is often overlooked or ignored. She demonstrates how the emergence of clear-cut categories is a comparatively recent phenomenon, and shows how the past is characterized by a remarkable fluidity and diversity in the social and religious milieus of the two faiths. In exploring the historical mechanisms that have led to the emergence and crystallization of religious identities the author sheds light on the increasing number of conflicts which threaten the harmonious co-existence of South Asian communities today.

Tantra

Author : Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
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Tantra—often associated with Kundalini Yoga—is a fundamental dimension of Hinduism, emphasizing the cultivation of "divine power" (shakti) as a path to infinite bliss. Tantra has been widely misunderstood in the West, however, where its practices are often confused with eroticism and licentious morality. Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy dispels many common misconceptions, providing an accessible introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of this extraordinary spiritual tradition. The Tantric teachings are geared toward the attainment of enlightenment as well as spiritual power and are present not only in Hinduism but also Jainism and Vajrayana Buddhism. In this book, Georg Feuerstein offers readers a clear understanding of authentic Tantra, as well as appropriate guidance for spiritual practice and the attainment of higher consciousness.

As Long as Space Endures

Author : Edward A. Arnold
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The Kalacakra Tantra (Kalacakra means "wheel of time") is a tradition of Buddhist theory and practice whose root text treats a fantastic expanse of knowledge ranging from observations of the cosmos to investigations of meditative states and vital bodily energies. In the Tibetan-speaking world, a public Kalacakra initiation remains the most sought-after event in the life of a devout Buddhist. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama has long had a strong connection with the Kalacakra Tantra; he brought the initiation to the West in 1981, performing it in the United States, Switzerland, Spain, and Australia. This volume has been created to celebrate his long involvement with the Kalacakra teachings. The twenty-five contributors, scholars who have made tantric studies their specialty, have contributed translations of works by great Indian and Tibetan Kalacakra masters, analyses of historical figures, methods of practice, essays on medicine ritual expertise, and ethical discipline. The collection also includes practical advice for Western students and practitioners from contemporary Tibetan Kalacakra masters.

The Ri Me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great

Author : Ringu Tulku
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This compelling study of the Ri-me movement and of the major Buddhist lineages of Tibet is comprehensive and accessible. It includes an introduction to the history and philosophy of the Ri-me movement; a biography of the movement's leader, the meditation master and philosopher known as Jamgön Kongtrul the Great; helpful summaries of the eight lineages' practice-and-study systems, which point out the different emphases of the schools; an explanation of the most hotly disputed concepts; and an overview of the old and new tantras. Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (1813–1899) is a giant in Tibetan history, renowned for his scholarly and meditative achievements, but also for his energetic yet evenhanded work to unify and strengthen the different lineages of Buddhism. The Ri-me movement, led by Kongtrul and several other leading scholars of the time, was a unifying effort to cut through interscholastic divisions and disputes that were occurring between the different lineages. These leaders sought appreciation of the differences and acknowledgment of the importance of variety in benefiting practitioners with different needs. The Ri-me teachers also took great care that the teachings and practices of the different schools and lineages, and their unique styles, did not become confused with one another. This lucid survey of the Ri-me movement will be of interest to serious scholars and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.